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Glue-Less Pearl Posts

Judy Willingham wrote (this is from the archives)

[...snip] a nearly glue-less way to mount pearls on posts,
although I always use epoxy as well. The post should be a snug fit
and slightly shorter than the hole drilled in the pearl. Cut a slot
in the top of the post and insert a wedge of (the post's) metal
into the top of the slot. Put the pearl onto the post; the wedge
will be forced down into the slot as you press the pearl down on
the post. The wedge spreads the sides of the slot so that they
expand against the sides of the hole. This method does not allow
for later removal of the pearl - the metal must be drilled out. 

I’m about to tackle this method. Does anyone have any other
comments/experience/etc to add? I’d be eternally grateful.

It seems to be a one-hit method, that is, no chanve of a dry run to
check how long the post ought to be.

And I assume the hole will need an internal flare.

New Zealand

Hi Brian,

I find it simple and effective to lightly tap the last mm or two of
the post to flare and harden it then check the fit. With the addition
of a small amount of 2 part epoxy on the post, “screw” the post into
the pearl.The hole in the pearl should be slightly deeper than the
post as a well for the epoxy.

If for some reason the pearl must be removed, just drop it into some
hot water, not boiling. Most epoxies will release at about 120
degrees F.

I have drilled out posts in pearls and it is not my favorite way to
spend the time! The method I use is secure, and I have yet to replace
a lost pearl.


Susan Ronan
Coronado, CA


Using a 6/0 or an 8/0 blade (if you can find them) seems to help
with splitting the post… use another sawblade as a depth gauge to
find your post length.

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA USA

You can use a tap and die to thread the post that goes into the
pearl and to cut the threads directly into the pearl itself. I
usually add a touch of glue to be safe but you don’t really need to.
This method does allow the pearl to be removed at some later time
but is probably not worth the effort unless they are really good


I haven’t actually done this, but I remember reading about this
technique. As I recall, the instructions I read said to use an
inverted cone bur that just fits into the hole to flare the end of
the hole. Also, you can put two half-round pieces of wire together,
solder at one end, rather than try to saw a piece of round wire.

I think I would skip the flaring part-- the last thing you want is
to have everything go great, get yout wedge pushed in, your pearl
permanently mounted-- and find that the setting is still loose, as
it could be if you flared it too much. If the flared area extends
downward too much, the pearl could move up and down, at least in my

Good luck-- let us know if you try this, and how it goes!